WordPress Design Tips for Beginners

– What’s up everyone? Today we’re covering WordPress
design tips for beginners, here on The Journey. – Alright Nealey, I am brand
spanking new to WordPress. Where do I start, I’m so overwhelmed. – It is super overwhelming and I think a lot of people do, when they start to build
their very first site, is they just go gung-ho and
just start trying everything. And they go in without a plan. So my first tip for you is to really have a plan
for your website, right. So when someone comes
to visit your website, what are some things
that you want them to do? – For me, the most important thing is they need to find all of our fresh, new content on the homepage. So we have a lot of
content coming out daily, whether it’s interviews or news articles. So I want them to be able to find that and easily find the thing
that’s most relevant to them. – Right, so just kinda
go down the rabbit hole of all your content,
getting the freshest first. – Yep
– And then possibly find, oh cool, here’s a related article. – [Morgan] Yep, yep.
– And then here’s another article. So that’s super important.
– Yeah. – You have a plan for your visitors. So same thing with you. When you want someone to visit your site, is it just to get information about you? Is it to call you, is it to contact you? Is it to buy your product? Whatever it is, you wanna have an idea of what that is going forward, so that way when you develop your website, that is priority number one, whether you’re designing the site or you have someone designing it for you. – Okay, so I have a homepage, but other than that what other
pages are important to have? – So homepage, definitely important. If you don’t have a homepage, you don’t really have a website, so that’s kind of important. But other than that, you
want an About Us page, you want to talk about yourself and really talk about how
you you help the visitor, the consumer, the customer, right? The About Us usually, in typical fashion, here’s the company’s history.
– [Morgan] Yeah. – A lot of people may not care about that. With your About page, have it really about how you help them, a
little bit of your history, but more important how you help them. Have a Products and Services page, to really showcase what you do. Have a Contact page, because that’s super important
for people to contact you. And then lastly, a Testimonials page. People love that social proof. You can pull reviews from,
like, Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, wherever you’ve got a review plug it on the website
and really show people that you are who you say you are. – Yeah and with those
pages people are either finding you through social,
or just going to Google and finding you that way, and so these are the
pages that they wanna do and they’re doing their due diligence, they wanna know who you
are, why you’re an expert, what other people say about you, what product and services you offer, so yeah having those
main ones are perfect. – All right so now another thing to really keep in mind with designing your website is you want to keep it simple. And what I see a lot
of first time people do is they’ll go in, they have, like, paragraphs and paragraphs
of their content. – They wanna have everything there. – Literally everything,
so they throw everything on their website and it’s
just a giant block of text that’s super hard to read and I know us millennials don’t really like to
read, we like to skim, so it’s really tough to
understand where to go. Don’t be afraid of that white space. That negative space, that
basically has nothing, it helps people just see better. It helps out eyes breathe and relax cause we’re not straining.
– Yeah. – Right?
– Yeah. – What’s some other things to really keep in mind with the website? – I think once you start
putting ads on your site, is to limit the number of ads. Obviously you want to
monetize your website, but if it’s just bombarding you with ads, it’s a really poor user experience. I know that I’ll find
a recipe on Pinterest, I’ll click on it and
it’s just bombarded with ad, ad, ad, ad, where I just say – It’s the worst.
– I don’t want to make this casserole anymore and I’m done. – Those clickbait-type articles, right? – Yep
– You’re on social media, you click on it, then it
gives you like a paragraph and I go onto page two and there’s a bunch of ads and it’s like 17
pages for what could’ve been like half a page.
– Yeah. Going back to the purpose of your website, the reason you have a website is cause you’re hoping to turn these users into clients or paying customers. So if you have too many
conflicting messages they’re just gonna go away
and you’re leaving customers, sending them away because
you have too much going on. – Absolutely and I think
the, as a beginner designer, or whatever you’re doing,
I would shy away from using ads in the first place
until you’re established. Like you said, it’s
about the user experience and if the first thing they
see is just a bunch of ads, they’re not gonna trust you and they’re not loyal to you
yet to understand, like, okay, cool, they have ads I
already love their content, I love them, let me help them out and maybe I’ll look at these ads, but if you’re not there
yet, shy away from them. And now with the website, too, you also don’t wanna
have just super random conflicting colors. It stresses out the
eyes, like, a yellow text on white background just doesn’t work. You really wanna stick to,
kind of, your brand colors, there’s a lot of cool little, like, complementary color wheel
calculators out there online just do a quick Google search, and it’ll show you cool,
plug in your primary color and it’ll give you some
complementary colors that look good, that’s not
gonna be too overwhelming for the end user on your site. Because if you frustrate them
and stress out their eyes they’re never coming back. Now I know with your website
you have a ton of content so lots of experience there, what are some best practices when it comes to content with designing your website? – First off you want
content that is relevant to you and your business
and your audience. If you are a dog groomer and
you are writing about plumbing then people coming to
your website are not going to find that helpful and
they’re gonna go away. So make sure that whatever your audience is coming to you for,
you’re writing content that you like, and you
can use Google Analytics or just ask your audience what
they want to hear from you and you can start writing
more content about that so it’s more in line with
what they’re looking for, but then also you wanna make
sure that it’s consumable. You can’t just have
this giant block of text because you wanna put everything in there – I won’t read it.
– No one’s going to read it so it’s as simple as trimming it down to the core message, but if that content is really important then
just hit that return bar and add some spaces so that way it’s nice and easy on the eyes. – Right, it’s not an essay
when you were in high school. You wanna break it up
even if the paragraph is not the perfect form, make it easy for the visitor to read, have nice bolded
headlines, or bullet points or quote boxes, break up that content. – Make your English teacher mad, okay? Just make it nice and pretty. – Yes, we’re gonna get
some angry, angry emails, but with the website itself
too, you really wanna think about the structure
of the content as well, especially on the main pages, the blog posts and things like that, definitely have to have structure but so does, like, say your homepage. Now you don’t want that
block of text in your hero. So the hero of a website is basically that first little banner,
header area, that you see, it usually has some type of text saying here’s how I help you, a call-to-action, and a nice image on
the background usually. Images with your website,
they have to match your brand. You can’t just throw out,
if you’re a dog groomer, some plumbing stuff cause
that doesn’t make sense. – It’s weird.
– What about corny photos? Like corny stock photos? – I mean, if you don’t have any photos, I would say that corny
photos are maybe better than a blurry photo from your phone. – It’s true.
– But maybe, it’s time to invest in a photo shoot so you can get really
nice, high-quality content and images that really show and display what your brand and your
products and services are. – Absolutely.
– My two cents. – A professional photographer
will definitely elevate you, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar, having someone coming to your place and take super quality
photos, that way anyone can actually see it, is great. – Worth the investment. – And now, if you have
to use stock photos, you don’t always have to
use the super corny ones, there are some free
resources that I like to use when I’m designing websites for clients, so pexels.com is probably my favorite one and then unsplash.com
is also a solid option. Basically, photographers
are going on there uploading some of their
best work to get exposure and they’re giving away for free which is super awesome and helpful. You can donate to them if
you really like their stuff, but it really elevates your website so it has some beautiful imagery, especially when it’s on-brand. – Okay, this is awesome, but what else do I need for my website? – Right, so with your
website, you really want that purpose of it, right, and we talked about what
is the goal of the website. Part of that goal is
having a call-to-action and not just one call
to action up in the hero you want multiple call-to-actions throughout. So, a call-to-action
is a, usually, a button or a link of some sort that says learn more, get now, buy this product. – Subscribe to my email list.
– Yes. Something basically telling
the user to take action. So, again, you wanna
have in the hero image but you also wanna have it
throughout the website itself, at the end of blog posts. I really like to have it at the top of the navigation bar, upper right, just because the way that
people’s eyes kind of travel around the website. It’s usually in a Z formation so they’ll start at the top left, which usually your logo, they’ll move over and have the navigation, but then have a call-to-action right there and then they’ll kinda scroll down, they’ll see other content and to the right they’ll
kind of finish off and especially if that menu
bar kind of scrolls down, that call-to-action is
always there for them to see and use and take that action. – Nice, Nealey pro tip guys, take notes. – Alright, so now another
aspect of your website when designing is truly have
some sort of social share, if you can say that five times fast. – Social share, social share,
social share, social share, social share, woo, got it! – I’m impressed. – Pretty good. – She’s kind of the best. So now, with the social share,
I know what you’re thinking, right, like, that’s not design. But design is every single
part of your website, and you really need to be
designing with purpose. So, how is social share, I can only say it one times fast, how has that really changed your website? – Well, for our website,
we want people to, we do a lot of blog posts, news articles, we wanna share our interviews and, so, having those buttons at the end of every article is crucial because we will have
article that will go viral and that’s really the goal
if you’re writing content that is a blog post or whatnot, you want as many people
to see it as possible, so having that option that
at the end of the article they can just click and share it to their favorite social network is key. If you don’t have it, you’re missing out on potential new viewers and new users who can find you and your
business and your content. – With social shares, it can be on, like, the left side bar of,
like, your blog page, you can have it in the widget
area on your right side bar, you can have at the bottom of a blog post. Usually people have it in
either the header or the footer. The more places you can
add it to your website without it being overwhelming the better. You wanna make this as easy as possible for someone to really love your content, wanna share it with the world. Now, another aspect that you
really wanna keep in mind, and a lot of, again, a lot
of people don’t think this as designing the website,
is planning for SEO. SEO is all about the website design and what you put into it. What are some things to keep in mind when really designing for SEO? – Yeah, so you have this
website, you want it to be found, and there are certain
things that you have to do when building and designing your website so that way Google and
other search engines can actually find and read your website. – [Nealey] Right.
– So the first one is your source code, there is certain ways that you need to structure your website so that way the crawlers can find it. An example are the image alt tags. Google is not a human,
it doesn’t really know what your images are
about, it’s a robot, right. – Yep.
– And so you have to go in and put text to describe, hey, this is a picture of a dog being groomed so that way Google
knows that this picture, this website, is relevant
for those search terms. So, again, this all goes around, you have to structure your website in a way that Google wants,
but then, also, your content, you have to have your key words in there that’s relevant to you and your business so, where you’re located.
– Yes. – What your products and
services are, your business name, make sure all of that is found in the content of your website cause that all helps with your SEO. And if you want even more
of a deep dive about SEO click this video right here and we can go into it even more. – Now, super important
when designing your website is to make sure that
it is mobile friendly. Everyone has a mobile phone. Gone are the days of the early 2000s when, literally, everyone
was on a desktop. – Yeah, now, not only does
everyone have a mobile phone or a tablet that they’re
using to look at your website but all the different phones
have different dimensions. So all the screens are
different sizes and, there’s just a lot, so having a mobile responsive
site solves for that. – And most WordPress themes
have some sort of responsiveness that’ll make it look good no
matter what device you’re using almost all website builders do, as well, so you wanna make sure
you keep that in mind cause over half of
searches on search engines are coming through mobile and, if your site is not mobile optimized, you make me zoom. – Oh, the worst.
– I am never coming to your website or doing
business with you ever. And lastly, you wanna make sure it works no matter what browser people are on. I know some browsers have
some funky different settings, right, so what might look good in Chrome may not look good in Internet Explorer if you’re still using Internet Explorer. – Edge.
– Edge, Edge now. Or if you’re using Internet
Explorer, upgrade to Edge, Firefox, make sure, just, test it out. Just download the browsers really quick, go to the website, go to different pages. You wanna QA these things to make sure that you’re not putting someone else’s experience down because they happen to
have a favorite browser. – So these are all really great tips but where do I go to find
what’s new and modern and to see what other people
in my industry are doing with their websites? Do you have any tips or ideas? – Yeah, I have lots of suggestions here. I know designing website, especially when it’s not your forte or something you do everyday, it’s hard to really get
those design juices flowing. So sometimes it’s good
to see just inspiration, check out other websites and you can go online and just start searching random
websites if you want but I have two recommendations that, these sites really just
highlight, kind of, the best of the best. The first one is awwwards.com and the second one is behance.com. Now, both have all sorts of just graphical design-type aspects, but they do have website, just examples and, basically, sites of the day that you can kinda check out. And start picking apart, like, cool, I really love this feature or
I really like how this looks and mold it into your own site. Kind of take the best of everything and make your own. – Alright, Nealey, thank you so much. Those were fantastic tips
on how to get started with WordPress. I think if you follow those you’re gonna have a killer website. – Absolutely, and you helped out a lot which has helped me so
I don’t have to come up with as much content.
– What can I say. – But, let us know your favorite
tip in the comments below and, while you’re there,
smash that like button and subscribe to this channel so you get all these episodes first. This is The Journey,
we’ll see you next time.


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